Deadman's Blood was formed by me in 2011 as a solo studio project. I wanted to have an outlet for my love of old style Death Metal so it didn't interfere with my Black Metal band Witchclan.
My favourite decade for Death Metal is 1985 - 1995. I love the Swedish sound from the Sunlight studio in the late '80's and early '90's and so that had a massive influence on the sound, musically. I recorded a demo entitled 'Tales of the Darkside' which sold out within two weeks. Among the people who got hold of a copy was Kam Lee who took a great interest in the band, and played it on his internet radio show.
The following year I recorded the now sold out EP 'Product of a Deranged Mind' which had guest vocals from Kam Lee and Mike Browning plus guest lead guitar by Brian Werking. That's pretty much the history of the band so far.
Most one man bands are Black Metal based, you’re greedy and have two different bands, one Black Metal (Witchclan) and Deadman’s Blood, which is Death Metal. Do you create the music differently for each band. And which one’s easier to write for?
That's a hard one actually. I suppose they're just as easy as each other but I have to be in the right frame of mind, and have to have been listening to the right music for inspiration for the days running up to a recording session. I can't write classic sounding Death Metal quite as well when all I've been listening to is Burzum and Darkthrone.
The general writing process is pretty much identical for both bands - I map out a general drum pattern and then just sit down and start jamming out some riffs and see what sounds good. Once I'm happy with a bunch of riffs, I'll start recording and get the song flowing, seeing which riffs work best with others and so on.
Once I have all the guitars and bass recorded, I go back through the drums and edit them, adding sections out and adding things in here and there until that sounds good. The last thing is always the vocals - but this is also one of the most time consuming parts.
I use three or four different tone vocals in Deadman's Blood so I have to sing each song up to four times so I can blend them all together and remove the parts I don't want to use. The overall vocal effect is great because rather than just one monotone growl, I end up with a much fuller sound and the dynamics of it all make for a very demonic sounding effect.
I grew up in the golden age of horror films and watched most of them before I was 18. I think the one that scared me the most was The Burning, mainly as it made me jump like hell. A lot of Deadman’s Blood is influence by this genre. What’s the big fascination with horror? And as these kind of films don’t scare me at all these days, what do you recommend to the old heart pumping once again?
Well I'm a 70's child, and grew up in the '80's so I just about remember the huge scandal in 1985 here in the UK where the government banned 39 movies and dubbed them 'Video Nasties'. I used to go to the video store with my Dad in the late '80's and hire out films to watch over the weekend. I got into Horror at a very early age. I had a fascination with the macabre, and loved imagary such as skulls and zombies so Horror movies were an instant attraction to me.
The first Horror I saw was A Nightmare On Elm Street and from that moment I was instantly hooked. In the '80's I went on to see The Evil Dead and The Exorcist and so on. It was in the late 80's that I moved onto Thrash Metal having been more into stuff like Ozzy, Guns n Roses and Alice Cooper on the years running up to discovering it. I'd already got into Megadeth and Metallica but for me, the real Thrash came when I purchased Slayer's 'Hell Awaits' in 1988. This to me was like listening to a Horror movie. The lyrics were the most extreme I'd heard so far and this fueled my desire for more extreme Metal and more extreme Horror!
By 1991 I had watched as much Horror as I could get my hands on and I had discovered Death Metal - Bolt Thrower's 'Warmaster' being the first album I bought, in its week of release. At this point - a new magazine called Thrash n' Burn was out and I was quickly able to discover other bands - two of which were Autopsy and Cannibal Corpse. Being a Horror fan - the lyrical approach of these bands were ideal for me and it's stuff like this which gave me inspiration for Deadman's Blood.
Since you mentioned me recommending some good Horror - good lord, I'm not so sure I'd know where to start - the list is endless!
Here's a handful which, apart from the first three films that got me into Horror as I mentioned a moment ago, are some of my favourites of the Horror genre;
Zombie Flesh Eaters
Cabin In The Woods
Nightmares In A Damaged Brain
August Underground Trilogy
The Possession of Michael King
The remake of Evil Dead is awesome too - and I usually hate remakes.
You did a really cool limited edition tape for Product Of A Deranged Mind, with 10 different coloured tapes. They sold out amazingly quickly, aren’t you tempted to do another batch, or release something similar?
Yes - the tapes sold out within 45 minutes of going on sale - I was genuinely shocked. There weren't a massive amount available but even so, I was very pleased about that.
Next year I will begin work on the first full length from Deadman's Blood. At this point, I don't know whether that will be something that's self-released or if it will be through a label but I do know it's going to be some of the best old style modern Death Metal you will have heard in a while - and lyrically, it will be some of the most gruesome and depraved stories you've ever been told.
You’ve been making music since what? 1990? What’s the biggest difference between now and then, apart from the internet?
Well, Witchclan was formed in 1990 but I didn't actually join until 1993 but even before I joined the band I was writing lyrics and recording my vocals so I could perfect my style so when you look at it that way you could say it's nearly been a quarter of a century of composing underground Metal in one form or another.
I suppose the biggest difference is people's attitude. Back in the 80's and 90's there was a real feeling of unity between the tape traders, bands, and so on. That seems to have withered somewhat.
Bands hardly ever write a letter anymore when they send you something. In the early days, if you bought a tape or something from a band, you'd receive a newsletter, hand written letter, bunch of flyers, maybe a promo band photo or whatever. These days, whatever you've bought or traded just arrives on it's own. It's almost slap dash in the sense that not many people seem to have time to talk to each other.
I guess you can blame the internet for that though - although you did say 'apart from the internet'. But I think that's what the point is here - it's technology, it's progression - a sign of the times. Life is faster these days, everything is disposable, because everyone's on the move - everyone's going somewhere and everyone wants to get there quicker than the next person.
I'm a very old fashioned person - I like things to stay the same and I can be very nostalgic. I look at the years between 1985 and 1995 as the best years - and so this really all connects to the reason I started Deadman's Blood in the first place - for the true love of the old school Death Metal sound.
And do you think the scene is better off or worse off with the internet?
Well that's a double-sided sword for me. I say that because it has its good points and it has its bad points. The good points are that you can connect with people and bands that previously would have been near impossible.
You get to discover new bands and hear things you probably couldn't have done without the worldwide web.
On the flipside, it also has some bad points, like I was speaking about previously. We live in a disposable society now and that means everything - even music. Kids today are too quick to click a button and download something rather than buying it. Okay so you get your bands and labels who enable downloads which you pay for but it's these pirates who are killing sales for a lot of bands.
Now don't get me wrong - I know what people say - the downloaders are the tape traders of today, and in some respects I would say that's true to a certain extents but what I'm getting at as well is that without downloads, record sales would be back up to where they should be. I'm not in this for the money, I never have been but there are a lot of bands who try to earn a living from music and it pisses me off that people out there steal new releases. I mean, that's not collecting music is it... it's all about buying the records. and the tapes and showing your true support to the bands you follow.
Deadman’s Blood have been quiet the past couple of years. What’s next for the project?
Yes indeed, there's been nothing new done since 2012 but the reason for that was that I was writing and recording my other band's new album. That's finished and is release on 31st October so next in the pipeline will be a full length from Deadman's Blood. This new record is going to be something very special so keep checking the Deadman's Blood Facebook page and the official website for updates on that. The new album will be in the works soon!
Deep Underground United Kingdom is available for just £2 from Bandcamp